Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics)

Master (Coursework)

Programme Type

Full-time, Part-time

NIE Graduate Programmes

[email protected]

The Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics) programme provides a broad-based course of study in the field of applied linguistics, mainly within the fields of language education and language studies, balancing theoretical knowledge with practical application. 

This programme helps you to develop a strong foundation in theories of linguistics and language learning by providing you with opportunities to critically review current research in applied linguistics. You will also acquire skills for conducting language pedagogy research and examining language-related issues in various contexts, skills which will undoubtedly contribute towards your overall professional development as language educators and researchers.

It is designed primarily for English language teaching professionals who wish to strengthen their academic qualifications for career advancement, but it is also suitable for people with a keen interest in language-related issues.

Through this programme, you will be exposed to many new ideas and skills which you can apply to your specific educational and work contexts, and gain a better understanding of various language-related issues and concerns in Singapore and around the world. As a result, you will be in a stronger position to appreciate and harness the power of language in your professional and everyday lives.

  • Flexible completion routes to suit your needs
  • International faculty and student cohort
  • Award winning teachers
  • Interactive learning
  • Courses that integrate theory and practice
  • Solid foundation for future doctoral studies

To help you gain maximum benefits from the programme, you should have:

  • A good undergraduate degree in English Language Studies,
    A good undergraduate degree in a related field with a postgraduate diploma in English Language Studies;
  • English Language requirements for international applicants whose first language is not English: TOEFL > 580 (paper test) or > 237 (computer test) or IELTS score > 6.5

For international applicants, more information on the entry requirements can be found here.

Applicants who are currently working with sponsors, donors or financial institutions to fund their studies, are encouraged to submit their applications early to NIE so as not to miss out on our application period.

Applications are to be made online. Click here to sign up for an ISAAC (Integrated Student and Academic Administration System) account to apply with us. For those with an existing account, login to apply.

There are generally two intakes for this programme in a year (January and August). You are advised to visit the website and look out for NIE’s announcements in May/June and November/December to confirm if the programme will be open for application at any particular intake. 

The Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics) is offered on both part-time and full-time basis. The candidature periods are as follows:


Minimum 1 year

Maximum 2 years


Minimum 2 years

Maximum 4 years

There are two options within this programme. You are required to either:

  • Complete 6 courses plus a dissertation (Dissertation option), or
  • Complete 7 courses plus MAE990 Integrative Project (Coursework option)

You do not have to make the decision when you apply.

In line with SkillsFuture Singapore's (SSG) initiative, some of the courses in this programme can be taken as standalone modular graduate courses and accumulated into credits leading to the master’s degree.

Important note for matriculated students:
Please refer to the ISAAC system for the programme structure relevant to your intake during Course Registration or consult the programme leader, Prof Icy Lee, if you need clarifications.

Note: Programme structure is subject to changes

Core Course

  • MAE900 Research Methodology in Applied Linguistics

Required Specialisation Courses (Choose two)

  • MAE901 Discourse Studies 
  • MAE902 Language Acquisition Studies 
  • MAE903 Sociolinguistic Perspectives on the Classroom 
  • MAE904 Language Teaching Methodology

Elective Courses (Choose two for dissertation option or three for coursework option)

  • MAE901 Discourse Studies ** 
  • MAE902 Language Acquisition Studies ** 
  • MAE903 Sociolinguistic Perspectives on the Classroom ** 
  • MAE904 Language Teaching Methodology ** 
  • MAE905 Language Curriculum: Theory and Practice 
  • MAE906 Classroom Discourse Analysis 
  • MAE907 Oracy Development and Research 
  • MAE908 Research in Teaching Written Discourse 
  • MAE909 The Culture and Conventions of Academic Writing 
  • MAE910 Corpora in Applied Linguistics
  • MAE911 English as an International Language 
  • MAE912 Literacies in Society 
  • MAE913 Systemic Functional Linguistics 
  • MAE914 Topics in Pragmatics 
  • MAE915 Language Testing and Assessment 
  • MAE916 Critical Literacy: Theory, Practice, and Research
  • MAE917 The History and Practice of Reading 
  • MAE918 Bilingualism and Biliteracy: Theory and Practice 
  • MAE919 Second Language Phonology 
  • MAE920 Second Language Reading Pedagogy 
  • MAE921 Psycholinguistics

** You may opt to take one or both of the remaining two Required Specialisation courses in fulfilment of your electives requirement.

One Open Elective Course

The course is to be selected from any of the courses offered in NIE’s Master’s degree programmes, including the MAAL programme. You are advised to take note of the prerequisites (if any) before registering.

Please note that not all courses listed under a semester will actually be offered. Course offering depends on staff availability.

Download the course descriptions for the programme

For tuition fees, please click here.

For more information about scholarships, please click here

For programme-related matters, please consult the programme leader, Prof Icy Lee, for more information.

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